Tigers sign 6 players to minor-league deals

The Detroit News

The Tigers have signed six players to minor-league deals, including veteran outfielder Nate Schierholtz who has major league experience and last played with the Hiroshima Carp in Japan.

Nate Schierholtz, here with   the Chicago Cubs, played in Japan last season.

Three right-handed pitchers also were signed: Logan Kensing, Melvin Mercedes and Dustin Molleken.

Kensing and Schierholtz have been invited to the major league spring training camp.

Infielder Alberto Gonzalez and infielder/outfielder Jordany Valdespin were also signed.

*Schierholtz, 31, hit .250 (58-for-232) in 31 games for Hiroshima last season. He's spent eight seasons in the majors with the Giants, Cubs, Phillies and Nationals where he's batted .253 (529 for 2090) in 799 games. He has 118 doubles, 22 triples, 52 home runs and 228 RBIs.

*Kensing, 33, spent last season in the Mariners organization playing for Triple A Tacoma where he appeared in 19 games and had a 2-1 record (5.87 ERA). He had 13 strikeouts in 15⅓ innings pitched. He has made 154 appearances, including three starts, in the majors with the Marlins and Nationals and has a 10-10 record with two saves, a 5.80 ERA and 157 strikeouts.

*Gonzalez, 32, returns to the Tigers organization after spending last season at Double A Erie and Triple A Toledo. Gonzalez is a career .270 hitter (713-for-2640) in the minors.

*Mercedes, 25, split last season between Double A Erie and Triple A Toledo. In his minor league career, Mercedes is 13-17 with 64 saves with a 3.45 ERA with 250 strikeouts in 263 appearances, including two starts.

*Molleken, 31, spent last season with Triple A Columbus in the Indians organization. He has a career 38-25 record with 17 saves, a 4.75 ERA and 532 strikeouts in the minors.

*Valdespin, 28, spent most of last season with Triple A New Orleans in the Marlins organization where he hit .293 (75-for-256) with two home runs and 20 RBIs in 76 games. He has 214 games in the majors with the Mets and Marlins and has hit .216 (92-for-426) with 15 home runs and 52 RBIs.